A Multifaceted Approach to Improving Postischemic Stroke Dysphagia Screening at a Community Hospital

Neurologist. 2021 Sep 7;26(5):167-169. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0000000000000340.


Background: Dysphagia is a common complication seen in acute ischemic stroke patients, and can lead to morbidity and mortality. As such, quality measures have been instituted to track adherence to dysphagia screening in all stroke patients. In our 217-bed community hospital, we were faced with a low rate in successfully screening for dysphagia.

Methods: Quality control interventions were implemented after an analysis of the reasons for dysphagia screening failures was performed. Interventions included online educational sessions for nurses, face-to-face sessions with medical residents, distribution of educational laminated cards, changing the method of documenting the dysphagia screen in our electronic record and others.

Results: There was an increase of rates of screening for dysphagia from 67% to 91%.

Conclusion: We conclude that failure analysis, implementation of quality control measures to address the cause of failures and re-evaluating success rates periodically was effective to address this problem.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia*
  • Deglutition Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Deglutition Disorders* / etiology
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Stroke* / complications